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Bypass truck crushes boy

A 10-year-old boy was crushed to death by a truck plying illegally on the EM Bypass on Sunday morning.

Siddharth Soni, a Class VI student of Indus Valley World School, was returning on a bicycle from a grocery shop opposite his home at Madurdaha in Kalikapur around 9.15am when the truck loaded with loose soil hit him from behind.

“He was thrown off the bicycle and the truck ran him over. There was no external injury but blood oozed from his mouth,” neighbour Somak Shome said. He was taken to Ruby General Hospital where he died around noon.

Truck driver Ram Narayan Ram, 30, was arrested and booked under sections 304A (causing death by rash or negligent act) and 279 (driving on a public way in a rash and negligent manner endangering human life) of the Indian Penal Code.

Even if convicted, he will escape with just two years in jail because of an archaic law.

The Bypass is out of bounds for trucks and other goods-carrying heavy vehicles from 8am to 10pm, a rule that applies to most roads in the city.

Residents of neighbourhoods along the Bypass say trucks ply throughout the day by allegedly greasing police palms. “Trucks carrying construction material can be seen on the Bypass any time of the day. Policemen don’t stop them,” Shome alleged.

An officer of Ananadapur police station said: “The truck that mowed down the boy was plying illegally. The road leads to Sonarpur where trucks are allowed during daytime. Sometimes we relax the rule so that trucks can use this stretch to go to Sonarpur.”

A senior traffic officer said nobody had been authorised to ease the restriction.

He said an inquiry would be conducted against those regulating traffic in the area when the accident happened. “We’ll identify the policemen who had allowed the killer lorry… necessary action will be taken against them.”

Several residents of Dishari Estate, the apartment where the boy lived with his family, were in the shop when the accident occurred. They rushed him to Ruby General Hospital and alerted the parents.

“He suffered severe injuries in the chest, including ruptured lungs and four broken ribs,” said an official of Ruby General Hospital.

The boy was admitted to the intensive therapy unit where he suffered a cardiac arrest. He was resuscitated and a pipe was inserted into the lungs to drain out blood but he suffered a second cardiac arrest around noon and it proved fatal.

An autopsy will be conducted on Monday.

His father Sunil Soni is a senior executive with a private firm while mother Seema is a homemaker. Elder brother Shreyansh is in Class X.

The family from Gurgaon have been staying at Dishari Estate for the past six months after Sunil was transferred to Calcutta.

They said Siddharth’s mother had sent him to the grocery shop that stands on a stretch where construction materials dumped on the roadside have spilled on to the carriageway.

“Iron rods, bricks, sand and stone chips are dumped on the road. The condition of bylanes off the Bypass is even worse… extremely narrow and unsafe,” a Madurdaha resident said.